AAIDD Announces its 2013-2014 Board of Directors

March 6, 2013, Washington, DC

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) is extremely pleased to announce its 2013–2014 Board of Directors, effective July 1, 2013. The Board of AAIDD is elected by its membership in annual elections. The members of the 2013–2014 AAIDD Board of Directors are:

President: James Thompson, PhD, FAAIDD
Professor, Department of Special Education, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois

President-Elect: Amy Hewitt, PhD, FAAIDD
Director, Research and Training Center on Community Living, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Vice President: Susan B. Palmer, PhD
Research Professor, Beach Center on Disability, Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, Lawrence, Kansas

Secretary-Treasurer: Patti N. Martin, MEd
Executive Director, Montgomery 31 Board, Montgomery, Alabama

Past President: Marc J. Tassé, PhD, FAAIDD
Professor, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, The Ohio State University, Columbus
Director, Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities

At-Large Members:

Loui Lord Nelson, PhD, FAAIDD
Post-doctoral Fellow, CAST and Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts

Susan L. Parish, PhD, MSW, FAAIDD
Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Disability Policy and Director, Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Elizabeth A. Perkins, PhD, RNMH, FAAIDD
Associate Director and Research Assistant Professor, Florida Center for Inclusive Communities UCEDD, University of South Florida

Peter J. Smith, MD, MA, FAAIDD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago
Associate Director, Illinois LEND, University of Illinois-Chicago

***

Founded in 1876, AAIDD is the oldest professional association concerned with intellectual and developmental disabilities. AAIDD advocates for the equality, dignity, and human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and for their full inclusion and participation in society. Learn more about the organization at www.aaidd.org.

See the full press release here:  http://www.aaidd.org/news/news_item.cfm?OID=10738

wrist radio This is a comment I received from a reader.  I thought this was well worth our review.

Autistic people can be some of the most vulnerable dependent adults in the universe. Mainly, because they are at the mercy of others who care for them and can take advantage of them by blaming abuse on the autistic person themselves. You have to be a seriously sadistic, cruel coward to prey upon defenseless, non verbal, severely-autistic people.

on iphoneThere is an epidemic of trusted caregivers from school personnel to home health workers who are being CAUGHT on tape ABUSING autistic people. What are YOU doing about this? Why aren’t more people addressing this hidden violence towards our autistic children?

http://www.hlntv.com/video/2012/09/27/caught-tape-autistic-man-allegedly-abused-caregivers

These caregivers better get the maximum sentence! http://iwidk.com/2012/09/21/horrible-caregivers-caught-on-video-beating-autistic-man-hundreds-of-times-video/

Dear Friend,

The Family Cafe and The CAFE TA Center are currently working on a project to find ways that advocates from different disability populations can work together.

To help us out with that effort, we are asking you to complete a short survey on your views on cross disability advocacy and collaboration. You can view it at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J5S6Z95.

The results of this survey will be shared through a presentation at the Atlernatives 2012 conference this October, and will also be part of a white paper on the topic that will be produced by The CAFE TA Center later this year.

Thanks very much for your help with this project!

Yours,

The Family Cafe / The CAFE TA Center

 

The Family Cafe 888-309-CAFE www.FamilyCafe.net

519 North Gadsden Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
United States

This is the newsletter, I received from The Family Cafe.  You will enjoy seeing the online gallery.  

Family Cafe logo

Dear Friend,

We are pleased to let you know that the pictures from The 14th Annual Family Cafe this past June are now available online! To check out all of the nearly 300 images from the event, visit our online gallery today!

There are pictures from every day at The 14th Annual Family Cafe, including the pre-event mental health training, volunteer bag stuffing, the various keynotes, Gatorland’s visit to the Exhibit Hall, the Saturday night dance and Sunday’s duck race.

So please take a minute to browse our gallery. If you were on hand, you might see yourself in there! And if you weren’t able to make it this year, at least you will get a taste of what The Family Cafe had to offer this time around. We definitely hope to see everyone again in 2013!

Yours,

The Family Cafe

PS If the link doesn’t work for you, cut and past this address into your browser:
http://www.familycafe.net/gallery/index.php/The-14th-Annual-Family-Cafe

Announcement From

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council

WEBINAR: Understanding Asset Building & Public Benefits for People with Disabilities in Florida

Visit our Website 

This series consists of two 90-minute installments and will give participants a basic understanding of many benefit programs offered by local, state and federal governments, many of which have applications and rules that change often and can be confusing. Sharon Brent, Director of Training & Technical Support at National Disability Institute will conduct the training sessions.

After participating in this series, you will have a better understanding of:

  • Public benefits and differences of programs under Social Security – SSI & SSDI.
  • The value and effect of how earned income (wages) and unearned income affect cash and medical benefits for both programs.
  • Work Incentives and which benefit program they apply to, when to use them & the value they offer when applied.
  • The difference between Medicaid & Medicare rules and the value when individuals earn income.
  • Available information from the SSA website & other important web resources for updates and continuous learning.

Who should participate in this two-part series?

  • SSI and/or SSDI beneficiaries who work or want to work
  • Parents & family members of SSI & SSDI beneficiaries who work or want to work
  • Direct service professionals who work with a SSI or SSDI beneficiary who earns or wants to earn income
  • Vocational rehabilitation managers & staff serving people with disabilities who work or want to work
  • School-to-work transition staff
  • Anyone interested in learning more about public benefits and the interaction between benefits, employment and asset building

THIS IS A TWO-PART SERIES. Participants must attend both sessions – access to the September 24th session will be given only to those who attend the September 10th session. REGISTER NOW!

This webinar is presented by:

MEETING INFORMATION

Date: September 10 & 24, 2012

Visit our Website


Time: 1:30 to 3:00 PM Eastern


Captioning will be provided during this webinar. If you use a screen reader and would like a copy of the powerpoint presentation ahead of time, please contact Katie Metz.

Visit our Website


 

Barbara Palmer to Lead Agency for Persons with Disabilities

Today, Governor Rick Scott named Barbara Palmer as director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, effective August 22, 2012.

She has served as the agency’s chief of staff since 2011.  “Throughout her distinguished career, Barbara has been widely recognized for her leadership and advocacy work on behalf of individuals seeking equal opportunities, and she has demonstrated that same high energy on behalf of Floridians with disabilities,” Governor Scott said.  “The agency and the customers it serves will benefit from her broad range of experience and expertise.”

Previously, Palmer served as assistant secretary for administration with the Florida Department of Children and Families from 2009 to 2011. Among her private-sector experience, she was president and CEO of Palmer, Musick and Associates from 1993 to 2009 and CEO of Illuminactive Multimedia Inc. from 1995 to 1997.

She served as director of the division of hotels and restaurants within the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation from 1989 to 1991. At Florida State University, she was associate vice president for governmental relations from 1985 to 1989 and director of women’s intercollegiate athletics from 1977 to 1985.

Nationally recognized for her efforts to secure passage of Title IX and ensure equity in sports for women in school athletic programs, Palmer was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame in 1982. In the 1970’s, Palmer began her career as executive director and vice president of IMPACT Enterprises Inc., a company serving individuals with developmental, mental and physical disabilities transitioning from institutional settings to community placements. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University.

The current director, Mike Hansen, has accepted a position with the Florida Senate. With more than 30 years of experience with health and human services policy and budgeting, Hansen has spent the past year working to continue increased efficiencies at the agency with the goal of balancing the agency’s budget and ensuring the continuation of services to Florida’s persons with disabilities.

“Mike’s extensive experience with Medicaid services and budgeting have been a tremendous help as we continue to work to ensure the availability of services to one of Florida’s most vulnerable populations,”  Governor Scott said. “I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

APD Regional Directors and Strategic Planning

On May 8 and 9, the six new regional directors for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) met in Tallahassee to begin planning for the restructuring of the APD offices throughout the state.

APD Director Mike Hansen kicked off the meeting. Several program areas presented updates to the regional directors to ensure that they were aware of the latest information.

The new APD regional directors are:

  • Lynne Daw for the Northwest Region
  • Gayle Granger for the Northeast Region
  • Merari Perez for the Central Region
  • Geri Williams for the Suncoast Region
  • Gerry Driscoll for the Southeast Region
  • Evelyn Alvarez for the Southern Region

Following the regional planning meeting, the regional directors joined the rest of the agency for an APD Strategic Plan webinar. Each team leader presented an update on the activities that have occurred as part of the team’s strategic objective.

 

_____________________________________

 

Webinar for CDC+ Personal Care Services Transition

This transition will affect CDC+ consumers under the age of 21 who wish to obtain PCA service via Medicaid State Plan AND self-direct the approved PCA funds via their CDC+ monthly budget. Consultants who serve these consumers are encouraged to attend one of the scheduled Webinars.

For more information call your local APD area office or contact Alexandra Weimorts CDC+ Director

Consumer Directed Care Plus Services

Agency for Persons with Disabilities

Phone: 850/414-6609 Fax: 850/414-7761

Blackberry: 850/274-1230

Areas 9 & 10
June 14, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Area 11
July 10, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
July 19, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 1 & 2
August 7, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
August 16, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm

Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 4, 12 & 13
September 4, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
September 13, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 8 & 23
October 2, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
October 11, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 3, 7, 14 & 15
November 8, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
November 13, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

 

Dear Friend,

The Family Cafe is now on Twitter!

Twitter is a great way to get frequent updates with news and information on disability issues, policy developments in Tallahassee and upcoming Family Cafe events. If you have a Twitter account, please start following us at@TheFamilyCafe today!

To learn more about Twitter and how it works, and to create an account, visitTwitter.com.

Yours,

The Family Cafe

 

The Family Cafe
888-309-CAFE
http://www.FamilyCafe.net

1332 N. Duval St.
Tallahassee, FL 32303
United States

Aaron Nangle gives hints regarding your selection of providers.

Selecting Providers

When selecting a provider, it’s a good idea to interview providers.  You can do interviews face to face or on the phone.  Below is a list of sample interview questions. Think about what is important to you, and write some of your own questions.  When you call providers, take note to see how quickly they return your call.  You want a provider who can take the time to work with you.  There are many good providers out there, take the time to find a provider who will treat you well.

Interview Questions

1. What types of insurance do you take?  Are you approved to receive payment from Medicaid, Medicaid Waiver, etc.

2. If I choose your company, who will be providing the services for me?

3. Will you work nights and/or weekends?

4. I need waiver services on (ex. Monday nights from 4pm-8pm) can you do that?

5. What special skills do you have? (ex. sign language, teaching skills, behavior training, a second language)

6. Are you comfortable working with someone who __________ ? (ex. has behavior problems, is a child, needs total care, doesn’t speak English)

7. How do you handle ___________ ? (ex. Temper tantrums,)

8. Do you have a back up provider for days you are not able to show up?

9. What types of activities are you willing to help me with? (ex. take me bowling, play football with me, go swimming, take me to look for a job)

10. What appeals to you about working with people who have disabilities?

11. What are your hobbies?  What will you talk to me about?

12. How long have you been a provider?

13. How big is your company?

14. Why should I choose you over another provider?

15. What areas are you willing to work in? I live in (your town), will you travel there?

 

This information was obtained from Aaron Nangle’ newsletter.  To receive Nangle’s newsletter, visit his website at waiverinfo@aol.com

Emergency Rule Lifted By Rick Scott

Details About How/When Rates Are Restored

Provider Update

The APD emergency rate reduction to provider rates will end at midnight, April 15. Provider rates will return to their March 2011 levels effective Saturday, April 16.

Rates for services provided between April 1 and April 15 will remain at the reduced rate.

To keep from issuing over 150,000 new service authorizations, APD is changing current service authorizations (April 1 – June 30). These service authorizations will have an approved amount based on the reduced rate for services provided between April 1 through April 15 and the old (higher) rate from April 16 through the service authorization end date.

Changed service plans will be available in ABC by close of business Monday, April 18.

Service authorization requests will be submitted to FMMIS the evening of April 18. Service authorizations are anticipated to be available Tuesday, April 19.

Billing is suspended until system changes are complete. APD anticipates that service authorizations will be available to Waiver Support Coordinators on Tuesday, April 19.  WSC must review and distribute these service authorizations. Once a provider has received a service authorization, they may begin billing for April services.

If you have any questions or problems with your service authorization, Area Office staff can answer questions and make corrections to service plans.

Rates

The rate shown on the service authorization will be the old (higher) rate. The approved amount on the service authorization may not be equal to the old rate shown on the service authorization multiplied by the number of units. The service authorization for April may show an amount slightly less than the original rate multiplied by the number of units because of the reduced rate used from April 1 through April 15.

When billing for April, please remember to reduce the amount billed for services provided before April 16.   

Because of the rate change, services (other than monthly) should be billed daily by date in April. Please do not “roll-up” service rates used after April 15 with services provided during the April 1 through April 15 period.

Service Scenarios

The sections below describe how reduced rate service authorizations will be handled to increase the rates.

Service Plans with Approved Amount <= $1.00 or Rate = $0.00 : 

 Service Plans with Approved Amount <= $1.00 or Rate = $0.00 will not be updated by this process.

 Monthly Services (One unit per month billed)

The services below will be handled as follows:

For April,    

The reduced rate will be multiplied by 50% (.5).              

The old rate will be multiplied by 50% (.5).

These two amounts will be added together to get the blended amount for April

Each remaining month (May and June) will be billed at the old rate ($100.00)

New Service Authorization Amount (April-June) 92.50 + 100 + 100 = $292.50

 Example:

Reduced rate = $85, Old rate = $100, 4/1/2011-6/30/2011

For April,

$85 x .5 = $42.50

$100 x .5 = $50

$42.50 + $50 = $92.50 (blended amount for April)

92.50 + 100 + 100 = $292.50 New Service Authorization Amount (April-June)

Monthly Services

Res Hab Basic – Standard

Res Hab Ext 1 – Behavior Focus

Res Hab Ext 1 – Standard

Res Hab Ext 2 – Behavior Focus

Res Hab Ext 2 – Standard

Res Hab Min – Behavior Focus

Res Hab Min – Standard

Res Hab Mod – Behavior Focus

Res Hab Mod – Standard

Support Coordination – Limited

Support Coordination – Full

Support Coordination – Transitional

Support Coordination CDC+ – Limited

Support Coordination CDC+ – Full

 Unit Based Services

The services below will be handled as follows

Calculate number of days between begin date and 4/15/2011 = Reduced rate days (DaysReduced)

Calculate the number of days between 4/16/2011 and service authorization end date = remaining days (DaysRemain)

DaysReduced + DaysRemain = DaysSA

Approved amount / reduced rate = number of units (Units)

Units / DaysSA = units per day (UnitsDay)

UnitsDay * DaysReduced * reduced rate = 4/1/2011-4/15/2011 amount (ReducedAmt)

UnitsDay * DaysRemain * old rate = 4/16/2011-end of service authorization amount (RemainingAmount)

ReducedAmt + RemainingAmount = New Service Authorization Amount

 Example:

Reduced rate = $85, Old rate = $100, Period 4/1/2011-6/30/2011, Amount $8500

4/1/2011 – 4/15/2011 = 15 (DaysReduced)

4/16/2011 – 6/30/2011 = 76 (DaysRemain)

15 + 76 = 91 (DaysSA)

$8500 / $85 = 100 (Units)

100/91 = 1.0989 (UnitsDay)

1.0989 * 15 * $85 = $1401.0975 (ReducedAmt)

1.0989 * 76 * $100 = $8351.64 (RemainingAmount)

$1401.0975 + $8351.64 = $9752.7375 (New Service Authorization Amount)

Unit Based Services

In – Home Supports (Live-In Staff)

Res Hab Basic – Standard – Daily

Res Hab Ext 1 – Standard – Daily

Res Hab Ext 2 – Standard – Daily

Res Hab Min – Standard – Daily

Res Hab Mod – Standard – Daily

Residential Habilitation – (Live In Staff) – Daily

Respite Care – Day

Adult Day Training – Facility Based

Adult Day Training – Off Site

Behavior Analysis Level 1

Behavior Analysis Level 2

Behavior Analysis Level 3

Behavior Assistant Services

Companion

Dietitian Services

In – Home Supports (Awake Staff)

Occupational Therapy

Personal Care Assistance

Physical Therapy

Private Duty Nursing – LPN

Private Duty Nursing – RN

Residential Habilitation – (Quarter Hour)

Residential Nursing Services – LPN

Residential Nursing Services – RN

Respiratory Therapy

Respite Care – Quarter Hour

Skilled Nursing – LPN

Skilled Nursing – RN

Specialized Mental Health – Therapy

Speech Therapy

Supported Employment   Group

Supported Employment – Individual Model

Supported Living Coaching

Services Reduced by a flat 15 percent

The services below will be handled as follows

Calculate number of days between begin date and 4/15/2011 = Reduced rate days (DaysReduced)

Calculate the number of days between 4/16/2011 and service authorization end date = remaining days (DaysRemain)

DaysReduced + DaysRemain = DaysSA

Approved amount / reduced rate = number of units (Units)

Units / DaysSA = units per day (UnitsDay)

Reduced rate / .85 = old rate

UnitsDay * DaysReduced * reduced rate = amount prior to 4/16/2011 (amount 1)

UnitsDay * DaysRemain * old rate = amount after 4/15/2011 (amount 2)

Amount 1 + amount 2 = New Service Authorization Amount

 Example:

Reduced rate = $85, Period 4/1/2011-6/30/2011, Amount $8500

4/1/2011 – 4/15/2011 = 15 (DaysReduced)

4/16/2011 – 6/30/2011 = 76 (DaysRemain)

15 + 76 = 91 (DaysSA)

$8500 / $85 = 100 (Units)

100/91 = 1.0989 (UnitsDay)

$85 / .85 = 100 (old rate)

1.0989 * 15 * $85 = $1401.0975 (ReducedAmt)

1.0989 * 76 * $100 = $8351.64 (RemainingAmount)

$1401.0975 + $8351.64 = $9752.7375 (New Service Authorization Amount)

 Services Reduced by a flat 15 percent

CONSUMABLE MEDICAL SUPPLIES

IN HOME SUPPORTS MONTHLY – S.L.WAIVER

Personal Emergency Response – Service

Res Hab Basic – Behavior Focus

Residential Habilitation – (Day) Intensive Behavior in a Licensed Facility

Special Medical Home Care

Transportation – Mile

Transportation – Month

Transportation – Trip

One time or infrequent services

The services below will be handled as follows:

A list of these service authorizations is being provided to the Area Offices. Changes for these services will be handled manually by the Area Offices

Services

Adult Dental Services

Behavioral Analysis Services Assessment

Durable Medical Equipment

Environmental Accessibility Adaptations

Home Accessibility Assessment

Occupational Therapy Assessment

Personal Emergency Response – Installation

Physical Therapy – Assessment

Respiratory Therapy Assessment

Specialized Mental Health – Assessment

Speech Therapy – Assessment

Special Case for Res Hab Behavior Focus

The services listed below have the same procedure code of either “T2020U6” or “T2023U6” in the Rate table. However Res Hab Basic does not have any given rates as this service comes under services with negotiated rates. The business rule being applied is:

a) Take the pre-April 1 ABC service plan rate (old) and compare it with all the rates available in the old rate table.

 b) If a perfect rate match is found for the procedure code and rate, the matched rate will be used in the current service plan. Otherwise the ABC old service plan rate will be used in the current service plan.

Services

Res Hab Basic – Behavior Focus

Res Hab Min – Behavior Focus

Res Hab Mod – Behavior Focus

Res Hab Ext 2 – Behavior Focus

Res Hab Ext 1 – Behavior Focus – Daily

Res Hab Ext 2 – Behavior Focus – Daily

Res Hab Min – Behavior Focus – Daily

Res Hab Mod – Behavior Focus – Daily

 Problems That Might Occur

One time or infrequent services are being handled manually

Units may not be used on a daily basis so the calculated amount is not correct

Source:  http://apdcares.org/news/news/2011/new-rule.htm

  ______________________________________________________

Message From Aaron Nangle

The aim of win-win negotiation is to find a solution that is acceptable to both parties, and leaves both parties feeling that they’ve won, in some way, after the event.  I don’t believe that has happened  for either party, and that worries me.  Providers and families are very, very thankful to The Governor and to the Legislators for restoring rates, yet they are also  fully aware that there is not enough funding to serve everyone and future cuts are likely. The Governor has made it very clear that APD must stay within its budget, and he has an obligation to tax payers to balance the Florida budget.  

There are about 50,000 people who need services from The Agency For Persons With Disabilities- just over 30,000 are on the waiver and 19,000 on the waiting list.   Historically, the budget has not been enough to provide services for the 30,000 on the waiver.  Furthermore, many people have been waiting for services for five years or more. 

In this crisis, we have come together and worked towards solutions.  We need to continue to do so.  The absolute worst thing we can do is to panic and start blaming each other.  Let’s face it, the money wasn’t wasted on private jets for our workers or exotic retreats, it was spent on medically necessary services. 

In order to balance the APD budget and also serve everyone on the waiting list, people would need to cut their service utilization nearly in half.  In most cases that is an impossible request.  We can not tell people they can only live in their group homes for 182 days per year.  From this experience we have also learned that provider rates can not be cut by 30-40 percent.  The law requires that agencies pay their employees at least minimum wage, and minimum wage is usually not enough to keep dependable, quality, caring providers. 

The second rule of successful negotiation is to understand the wants and needs of the other party.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA7nCI1Q8Kg

(video of meeting in the Governor’s office)

We have a lot of work to do.

__________________________________________

Ever Care Adult Care Services LLC,

Is Ready To Help

  We have beds available immediately and are prepared to help anyone in need during these difficult times. Behavior focused adult male, Standard female and male beds are available. Live near the beach, enjoy great daily activities. Contact – Mary Jo, 727-449-7045 or Email: mhscan@aol.com 

 See our website at http://evercareadultservices.com/

______________________________________
 

Call to Advertise your company & be listed on our websites.
We want people to have a true choice.

SupportCoordinators.Com  –  WaiverProvider.Com

FloridaGroupHome.Com  –  FloridaUnites.com

FloridaAutism.org  –  FloridaGuardianship.com

I received this e-mail from Laura Moheskey regarding the Florida DD waiver changes proposed by the state legislators.
 
Subject: Call to action
You are receiving an email from me because of one of the following reasons: You are a consumer or a family member of someone on the D.D. waiver OR you are a provider/agency that works with the D.D. waiver. Either way, this is an important email and I am asking you to PLEASE take some time and RESPOND to the CALL.

On Monday, I will be going to Tallahassee with a group called Peoples First of Brevard. This group is set up of individuals who are self advocates. My role is to only assist them and give guidance. It will be our third trip since November. Each time we go, we have had the opportunity to speak either in front of the Senate or the House. I believe this group is now being taken seriously in our State’s Capital.

On the 15th, 16th, and 17th there will be meetings by the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Appropriations the subject matter: MEDICAID REFORM.

Reforming the Medicaid system will have a harsh impact on individuals who are disabled and on the D.D. Waiver.

I am asking each one of you to take some time to call and email the following Senators on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.. Please tell them “One Size Does Not Fit All – Leave the DD waiver alone – NO HMO’s. . Be prepared to leave your name and zip code when you call.

I know everyone is busy, don’t assume someone else will do this. There are 31,000 people on the D.D. waiver. Emails are going around the State this weekend. If only a handful of folks do this then we might as well fold up now. The impact has to be HUGE.

Individuals who are disabled need a voice. Please let it be yours.

Thank you
Laura Mohesky

Here are the Senators on the Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Appropriations and contact info.:

Sen. Negron, Chair; Rep. http://www.facebook.com/l/288a8xoSJsZ6fJnZjXrpODgWTcQ;negron.joe.web@flsenate.gov

 1-888-759-0791

Sen. Rich, Vice Chair; Dem. http://www.facebook.com/l/288a83cSvzpvIUk5Wpf9VsfjhLA;rich.nan.web@flsenate.gov

1-850-487-5103

Sen. Gaetz, Rep.

http://www.facebook.com/l/288a8jR8p58zEGXul7iiPkCl_aA;gaetz.don.web@flsenate.gov

1-866-450-4366

Sen. Garcia, Rep.

http://www.facebook.com/l/288a88dtZCn5LcBue_gAaZmuarw;garcia.rene.web@flsenate.gov 1-850 -487-5106

Sen. Oelrich, Rep. http://www.facebook.com/l/288a84aAvehRK2Ye4VBeyxCcCiw;oelrich.steve.web@flsenate.gov

1-850 -487-5020

Sen. Richter, Rep. http://www.facebook.com/l/288a80sz_sOeSKuk1HgHVDrH_pw;richter.garrett.web@flsenate.gov

1- 850- 487-5124

Sen. Sobel Dem.,

http://www.facebook.com/l/288a8WXzC-xbWzfDFJ2ZssAE6IA;sobel.eleanor.web@flsenate.gov

1- 850-487-509

You may be interested in seeing what United Voices for Choices has done to help people with disabilities speak out for themselves.  They helped sponsor a legislative reception February 4, 2011 with People First of Brevard.  Here are pictures of the reception.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/United-Voices-for-Choices/134954733228852

The Networks Self-Advocates traveled to Tallahassee to see the Florida legislators.  Here is several links to some of the articles their visit engendered.  The two people holding the sign are self-advocates from Titusville.

http://m.floridatoday.com/news.jsp?key=361250&rc=ne

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2010/11/as-senate-opens-medicaid-reform-hearings-potential-clients-worry-about-hmos.html

http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20101118/CAPITOLNEWS/11180322/Lawmakers-take-on-Medicaid-reforms
http://floridacapitalnews.com/article/20101118/CAPITOLNEWS/11180322&theme=
http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2010-11-18/lawmakers-mull-medicaid-overhaul
http://floridaindependent.com/15175/lawmakers-weigh-plans-for-medicaid-overhaul
http://www.pnj.com/article/20101118/NEWS01/11180320/Legislators-dive-into-Medicaid-reform

     by Richard O. Stimson

This is an article published in the August Connecting Point, a Special Gathering monthly newsletter published for and by the mentally challenged community.

With all the changes by the State, there is one question I am asking.  Who is the  primary person responsible for a consumer’s Health and Safety?

The June 23, 2005 edition of the Handbook on page 2-87 includes in the description of support coordination: “Support coordinators promote the health, safety and well-being of the recipient.” Page 2-97 goes on to say, “Monitor the health and well-being of the recipient” as one of the reasons for face-to-face visits.  Also, on Page 4 of the WISCC (monitoring tool), it states: “WSC is aware of the health, safety, and well-being of the people they serve…”

It has been my position that one advantage for the State’s privatization of case management (i.e., Support Coordination) is moving responsibility for Health and Safety from the State to non-governmental persons or companies.  Then when something goes wrong, it is not the State Government in the limelight, but a Support Coordinator with the State pointing a finger at the Support Coordinator.  To me, this arrangement has worked just that way.

I have not found agreement in the past among Support Coordinators as to whether Support Coordinators were the primary professional responsible for the Health and Safety of their clients.  It has been my opinion in the past that Support Coordinators were the primary professional responsible for the Heath and Safety of their clients.  I no longer feel we can expect this of them.  This is particularly true with Limited Support Coordination.  But if not the Support Coordinator, then who?  It concerns me that this has not received more discussion.  Maybe it is because the State (and Support Coordinators) do not like the choices.

This may not seem important to you because your parents or your family helps you with your Health and Safety needs.  But that is not true for everyone. Also, it may not always be true for you.  I would identify in your Support Plan who will be the primary person or agency to help you with Health and Safety concerns.  Will it be your Supportive Living Coach? Will it be a family member? Will it be your Group Home?

            If I were you, I would start identifying in your Support Plan who is your Primary Support for Health and Safety.